Author Monica Wood was as surprised as anyone by how Any Bitter Thing turned out. The novel (just released in paperback) tells the tale of an orphan raised by her uncle, a Catholic priest. After he's falsely accused of molesting her, he drops dead from a heart attack. Two decades later, after nearly dying in a car accident, the girl encounters her ghostly uncle once again. "I had no idea how this story would transform," says Wood. "I write to find out what's going to happen." Any Bitter Thing borrows from Wood's own childhood: Her uncle was a priest, and he helped raise her after her father died. "I was trying to capture that same sense of unconditional love," says Wood.
Wed., May 24, 7 p.m.

Speaking of Highlights

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